Beyond the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks looms another signal date in the annals of global jihad. That date is Sept. 20, when the Palestinian Authority's Mahmoud Abbas is expected to petition the United Nations for statehood.
What would a U.N.-ordained Palestinian state have to do with global jihad? Practically everything, because such statehood would mark a major victory in the long war on Israel's existence. And, whether unadmitted or unimagined, it is Israel on which the axis of Islamic jihad turns.
I've never been more convinced of this than after reading four, clarifying pages of Bat Ye'or's new book, "Europe, Globalization, and the Coming Universal Caliphate" (Lexington Books). In a first-chapter primer on the relationship between the European Union and the Organization of the Islamic Conference, much of which revolves around mutual animus toward Israel, Ye'or revisits the hateful perversion that passes for political normal: the relentless mission of the Islamic world, with EU encouragement, "to appropriate a tiny piece of land" -- Israel -- as a political and religious cause despite the fact, as she reminds us, no town, village or hamlet of Israel is mentioned in the Koran or early biographies of Muhammad.
Why Israel? Ye'or asks. "Given the immense territories conquered and Islamized over thirteen centuries of expansion and war," she writes, "why would Muslim countries keep plotting to destroy Israel?" And further: "Why does the immense oil wealth of Muslim nations nourish a flood of hatred that poisons the heart of humanity against such a small nation? Why is Israel considered so alarming?"
The well-read global citizen might regurgitate something about land, modern Zionism and the post-1948 "plight of the Palestinians," but these are stock narratives overwriting the age-old reason. "What Israel possesses," Ye'or explains, "is the Bible."